Redarc BCDC1220 performance on trip - feedback

Submitted: Friday, Sep 30, 2011 at 23:42
ThreadID: 89311 Views:14467 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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Well we've just returned after a 4000km trip from Alice Springs to Broome (across the Tanami) and back via Halls Creek. I'd recently replaced the solenoid (redarc) that was charging the 2nd battery as I just wasn't convinced the 2nd battery was getting a good charge. My main concern was that the car wouldn't be started for a few days at a time and the Engel would suffer !

When i was researching the product I was also concerned at under bonnet temps and that I still wouldn't get a good charge because the unit would "foldback". Being the paranoid traveler I also took a Projecta charger in case the battery needed a good overnight charge.

I'm happy to report that the BCDC1220 did an absolute awesome job. The marine battery spent most of its time in "float" and ran the Engel Fridge and Fluro light for days at a time without problem. We were away for 12 days and I only took a powered camp site for one night and gave the battery an external charge, the rest was done by the Redarc. It got hot under the bonnet out on the Tanami and Buntine and the thing just worked. I'm very impressed with the unit and glad I put it in for the trip


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Reply By: Mick O - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 08:39

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 08:39
Good to hear Pete,

Probably comes as a surprise to no-one but I’m a fan of the Redarc systems myself. I recently upgraded the 12/20 to the 12/40 with solar input. Even more impressed. We had a bit of a gathering on the Darling recently where a good friend (and EO member) was having some issues with his power needs due to running both fridge and freezer for prolonged trips. The ever ready GDEC crew soon realised that he was pretty much in a no win situation with a normal solenoid charging system. Down to Adelaide he went and had the 12/40 and some other bits and bobs put in (by our old mate Richard at Vehicool). While only a relatively short trip home, he seemed impressed and we will be very keen to see how it performs on another extended trip. He is also supplementing that with a couple of solar panels for those static periods. He automatically benefits though from getting the batteries up to a much higher State of Charge through the DCDC charging system. His will be another great case study for us to see what improvements have been gained (apart from him turning into a DC demon now lol).

Still really happy with both my BCDC and the BMS (and the Powersonic AGMS). They’ve been to hell and back over three rugged outback trips in the past 18 months and haven’t missed a beat. I’m just about to pull the BMS out and send it back as Redarc will update it with all the latest software and algorithms FOC. A very good Australian company in my books. Thanks for giving the the feedback to the forum.

Safe travels, Mick

Ute build product review - Redarc

''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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AnswerID: 466462

Reply By: Patrol22 - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 09:12

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 09:12
Redarc are a very good product with whatever they make but I went down the Projecta DC20 path. I've fitted two of these to my setup 1 to manage the 2x105AH aux batteries I have in the ute and the other in my campertrailer. I have to say that they too have performed faultlessly. Like Sandman says these 3 stage 12V chargers make a huge difference to the length of time you get out of the battery without having to start up the donk. I only went for Projecta because I was able (mates rate) to get 2 of them for less than the price of one Redarc.
Normal retail they are about the same price but I have noticed that Battries Direct has a special on them at the moment.
Projecta DC20

Batteries Direct
AnswerID: 466472

Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 09:22

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 09:22
I have installed a Redarc BCDC 1240 in my van and it works great, both the solar MPPT controller and the dcdc charge side when driving.

But be aware that as it can charge at a true 40A into the van battery at ~14V, its drawing over 55A down the line from the vehicle (incoming voltage was down to 10.7v after that distance). I had to upgrade some of my componets (relays) to handle the high power draw, the cable size in the van (8mm2) is almost on the limit for 55A. But boy it charges the van AGM's quickly :)


AnswerID: 466475

Reply By: paulnsw - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 10:16

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 10:16
The Projecta DC20 needs an ignition feed to switch the unit on/off which is crappy.
Redarc BCDC1220 has crude outdated 3 stage charging profile. Ctek D250S or D250S Dual DC/DC charger is the pick. Issue with Ctek D250S Dual you need 120W min solar panel capacity.
AnswerID: 466481

Follow Up By: Sandman - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 13:46

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 13:46

Agreed the CTEK has "more stages", the only reason I didnt pick it and selected the REDARC instead was

1) Being able to talk to REDARC directly themselves
2) Had a very detailed discussion about the "foldback" when the unit heats up and how it performs
3) Its aussie made....
4) Very Low profile for mounting

As I mentioned the unit charged the battery fine after the engine not being run for nearly 3 days.

The Prado hardly gets driven at home so the strategy is to put a 50AMP anderson onto the Projecta charger and plug it into the car when at home. I have a 50AMP Anderson on the front bar that means I dont need to pull up the bonnet to connect. That will float the battery nicely...

FollowupID: 740588

Reply By: drjfly - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 11:49

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 11:49
Just did 3 weeks on the cape with a BCDC1220 and it did a brilliant job.

After using Redarc products for a number of years now their backup, service, support and advice is A class and can't recommend the company and products highly enough.

I won't fit any other brand anymore.

AnswerID: 466488

Reply By: ozjohn0 - Monday, Oct 03, 2011 at 17:10

Monday, Oct 03, 2011 at 17:10
If only they could make a decent electric brake controller that was as good as their other products.
AnswerID: 466679

Reply By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Monday, Oct 03, 2011 at 17:30

Monday, Oct 03, 2011 at 17:30
I have read this thread 3 times and have one question which will show just how much knowledge I lack in this area.

Almost everyone mentions how the redarc enabled them to get more charge in the battery and hence more use.

What I don't understand is where does the power come from to charge the battery if you are not connected to 240v or does the redarc draw more power from the alternator and 'pump' it into the 2nd battery.

AnswerID: 466681

Follow Up By: Sandman - Monday, Oct 03, 2011 at 17:45

Monday, Oct 03, 2011 at 17:45
Hi BooBoo

Not sure on the technical terms myself but the charger is able to step up the voltage to the battery under charge. Say when the charger is in absorption phase, the voltage out is 14.7 volts or similar, sorry I cant remember the REDARC specs but I know the PROJECTA I have sits at 14.7. In Float mode I think it drops to 13.3V....

Its all about VxI=W (Voltage times current equals watts). To get a higher output voltage it draws more current and the unit must have some sort of step up circuitry.

I remember some posts on the Pradopoint forum about tricknig the alternator to put out a higher voltage by inserting a diode in the feedback loop, this drops the feedback by 0.7V and hence the altenator steps up the voltage, i gather this is to get the voltage to the same level as required by "absorption".

All interesting stuff..

FollowupID: 740778

Reply By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Monday, Oct 03, 2011 at 18:14

Monday, Oct 03, 2011 at 18:14

Thanks for that. I just had a look at redarc BCDC 1220 on utube.

It doesn't give me what I want, but from what you are saying and from what I thought it seems that the power simply comes from the alternator,,,, somehow.

AnswerID: 466692

Follow Up By: Sandman - Monday, Oct 03, 2011 at 18:47

Monday, Oct 03, 2011 at 18:47

It takes a feed from the primary battery when its above a set voltage point meaning the altenator would need to be running. When it drops below a set point it disconnects like a solenoid however its electronic.

The beauty of the unit is that it can be mounted quite a distance from the primary battery ie: camper as its not concerned at the voltage drop across the input cable as it can step up the charging voltage.

My unit is still under the bonnet on a 1.7M 8B&S cable, not measured the voltage drop however it should be negligible even when the unit draws 20 amps.

Not sure if that answers your question

FollowupID: 740794

Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Monday, Oct 03, 2011 at 19:20

Monday, Oct 03, 2011 at 19:20
Thanks again Pete

I think it will be a very good idea if I fit the BCDC to the 2nd battery in the Dmax.

I have just been browsing the net and the prices range from $335 to $495.

Now all I have to do is find a fullriver 120ah agm for a good price.

FollowupID: 740800

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